Anyone play Living Force?

'A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." Discuss the Star Wars campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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Big Mac
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Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:12 am

We have quite a few Star Wars fans around, but did anyone take part in the RPGA's Living Force campaign?

Wookiepedia has a fairly detailed article on Living Force, but I can't find much elsewhere as "Living Force" is an in-character term and the search results are flooded with Star Wars content about that.

I'm assuming it would have used WotC's d20 Star Wars rules, but I don't know the difference between the WotC Star Wars editions, so can't tell which one was used.

There was a book published, called Living Force Campaign Guide, but it mostly gets low star reviews on Amazon. However, if it includes details of the bespoke star system that was used with Living Force, it might be useful to anyone who wants to go looking for archived copies of the RPGA material.

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Does anyone have this book? Do you agree with the people writing reviews on Amazon or do you have to be a player of Living Force to appreciate the good parts of this book?
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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Havard » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:00 pm

Star Wars Wikia wrote:Living Force was a Wizards of the Coast RPGA organized play campaign, following the model of similar campaigns such as Living Greyhawk. The campaign was set in the Cularin system, created especially for the campaign and detailed in the Living Force Campaign Guide. The campaign was initially set one year after The Phantom Menace,[1] but to keep current with the movies, the Cularin system time jumped almost ten years when Attack of the Clones came out.

The Living Force campaign lasted for six years, coming to a conclusion after Revenge of the Sith was released. The adventures of the campaign were distributed by the RPGA through its membership for conventions and game days. They were supplemented by articles providing stories, information about the Cularin system, and rules updates for the campaign on the Wizards of the Coast website.
The main story arc of the campaign was titled Among the Stars. A side story arc called Law and Order was being created by campaign staff in Great Britain, but was canceled after only four adventures were released.
Interesting, I think I had heard of this book by title, but I did not realize it was a kind of living campaign concept. I like that they were developing the Cularin system as a unique setting for the campaign. I wonder if the decision to place it close to the Phantom Menace era could have been something that caused problems for the campaign later on, especally after the time jump? I am overall not such a huge fan of the prequel era, but If I was to run a campaign there it seems like having the campaign set somewhere between Clones and Sith or even after Sith would be the most interesting eras. Its not really Star Wars if there isn't a war going on is there? :)

Too bad the Law and Order story arc was never completed. I wonder if info about the vaporware adventures could be obtained anywhere?

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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Nate Christen » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:03 pm

I was fortunate to have a solid group of players and GMs back in 2001-5, and so was able to play and run a lot of LF. I wore out my copy of that book. It doesn't have much as far as stats for equipment or other player options, but it does a good job of detailing the Cularin System, and thus was really useful for me as a player and GM.

I can see why people who didn't play LF might review it poorly, however, since it doesn't provide much for players not active in the campaign.

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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Havard » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:29 pm

Nate Christen wrote:I can see why people who didn't play LF might review it poorly, however, since it doesn't provide much for players not active in the campaign.
I think this is a pretty commong problem with Living Campaigns. How to appeal to people who are not active in the campaign itself? Personally I don't think that needs to be all that difficult, but it seems like WotC have always been struggling to do that.

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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:31 am

Havard wrote:
Nate Christen wrote:I can see why people who didn't play LF might review it poorly, however, since it doesn't provide much for players not active in the campaign.
I think this is a pretty commong problem with Living Campaigns. How to appeal to people who are not active in the campaign itself? Personally I don't think that needs to be all that difficult, but it seems like WotC have always been struggling to do that.
They did OK with Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. I think that had broad appeal with 2nd Edition fans, as it provided a general overview of the same area of the Flanaess that was used during the 2nd Edition era.

With Living Force Campaign Guide being based around a new star system, called the Cularin system, I'm guessing that the value to non-Living Force players would be based on how well the star system is described and how well the book works without the RPGA campaign.

I think there was about two or three pages of information that only works for RPGA players in the back of Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. If you were to "chop" those pages out of the book, there would still be a ton of Greyhawk stuff to read. I wonder how much of Living Force Campaign Guide would be left if all the RPGA-specific information was chopped out.
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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by agathokles » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:56 am

There are tons of star systems in the Star Wars universe. The value of the RPG material is more in providing a storyline, IMO, of which the d20 and Saga versions are quite poor (Dawn of Defiance is good, but it's the only true campaign).

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Re: Anyone play Living Force?

Post by Yaztromo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:59 am

I have been running both Dawn of Defiance and Living Force for around a year.

I think that the plusses of Living Force are linked to a very high number of adventures (150+, if I remember it right), some of them one off adventures, some other linked in trilogies of adventures, some other are even longer adventure arcs or special special adventures with multiple groups etc. set in different planets of the isolated Cularin system.
This removes a fair amount of railroading that is often associated to Living Campaigns, as you can reasonably freely jump from one adventure on a planet to another adventure on another planet, from different adventure arcs, if you want.
The natural backdrop of such a wealth and variety of adventures is that they are not all at the same level and quality: I think this is unavoidable, but I won't hide it.

Another nice aspect of these adventures is that it is "almost" easy to integrate / alternate them with Down of Defiance campaign, that is very linear and more railroading than this.
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